As a young and hungry wine student, the first book I was recommended to read was, Kevin Zraly’s “Windows on the World”. It is a well rounded (and easy to comprehend) book about the entire world of fine wine. As I’m sure you’re feeling overwhelmed by simply reading the title, as was I. To my surprise, the book had just enough pictures in it to keep my attention (I was imagining some graduate-style textbook, considering the topic and potential depth and breadth of the subject). I was excited as I skimmed the pages trying to get a quick cheating glimpse at what I was about to learn.
One thing in particular stuck out to me as I read the first few pages… Windows on the World wasn’t just a cool metaphor to describe looking at the subject of fine wine, it was actually a fine dining restaurant on the top floors of the North Tower (Building One) of the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan.
I shut the book. All the feelings I experienced that morning as I watched 9/11 unfold came rushing back. But this time, it was from a different perspective. What about all the wait staff, the dishwashers, the chefs? What about all the old vintage wine that was older than my Grandparents? It was all lost.
As I pulled myself together, I continued to read. But this time, I was full of reverence for what had come before me, and the history from which it had been written.
Keven Zraly – who was the wine director at the time of the attacks – luckily wasn’t at the restaurant that morning. Even though he lost many of his close friends and co-workers, he took with him his passion and love for wine. Thank Mr. Zraly for your book, and for sharing your love with the world.
Here’s my takeaway and lesson learned: lets drink a bottle we’ve saving and show love to the people around us… today.